Brazil Retail Sales Jumped in May as Shoppers Adjusted to New Situation

SAO PAULO--Brazil retail sales jumped in May as more consumers adapted to shopping during the coronavirus pandemic and businesses in some parts of the country reopened following almost two months of social distancing measures.

Sales increased a seasonally adjusted 13.9% in the month, the biggest increase in 20 years, and fell 7.2% from a year earlier, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, said Wednesday. In April sales dropped a revised 16.3% in the month.

Brazilian states began shutting down non-essential activities, including most shops, toward the end of March, and in April the country's retail sales suffered the biggest drop on record. In May, activity increased from a low level as some places began to relax the rules.

"There was some impact from the opening of those physical shops and also people getting accustomed to a different way of working, with deliveries, for example," said Cristiano Santos, manager of the series.

Even with the increase in May, retail sales are still down in the year to date, he said.

Write to Jeffrey T. Lewis at

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  07-08-20 0836ET
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